7 Sep 2013
Autumn ambles – free London guided walks
Back in May I wrote about Walk London, a series of guided walks around the capital – and I wasn’t the only one who thought they were a great idea. Now they’re back.
There’s simply so much to discover about the city, whether you’ve lived here for over a decade like me, or even from birth like my husband, that I don’t think you can ever stop uncovering the buried history, quirky tales and little-visited side streets.
And it would be a life’s mission to hunt them out yourself, which is where guided walks led by experts are hard to beat.
The idea of the Walk London project is partly to connect some of London’s best attractions, parks, woodland, rivers, canals and open spaces, and get you away from traffic – although that doesn’t necessarily mean getting right out of the city.
The majority are buggy friendly as well (check the website for details of wheelchair accessibility to get an idea of which ones are likely to be most suitable) – and for older children, it’s simply down to their own walking abilities.
I suspect most families are unlikely to tackle the aptly named Green Chain Megawalk, which runs for 21.5 miles and takes all day.
But Somewhere Else London covers less than five miles over two hours, and takes you down backstreets to discover the side of the city that you might otherwise miss. The ‘Amazing History of the Banks of the River Thames’, meanwhile, is just 1.5 miles over two hours so there’s more fascinating history than serious trekking. You might have to explain what a bawdy house is though…
I could go on – the walks include Old Camden, St Paul’s and the City, Old Westminster, historic Bloomsbury and one option focusing on hidden alleyways and courtyards, something London specialises in (look out for Doctor Johnson’s Cat).
Others are themed on history rather than location – from the Romans to Norman Foster, for example – while there’s also plenty of modern, with one walk around the Olympic Park.
All the walks are completely free and there’s no booking required. They all take place on September 28 and 29.
Image courtesy of Walk London